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Acids are used in soft drinks  for two main reasons:

- To slow the growth of micro-organisms (yeasts, moulds and bacteria).

- To improve the taste of a drink by balancing the sweetness.

The three most commonly used acids are:
Citric Acid (E330)  - the natural acid in citrus fruits
Malic Acid (E296) - the natural acid in apple
Phosphoric acid (E338)

Other acids used less regularly are lactic acid (E270) and tartaric acid (E334).